They shall inherit the Earth
GenerationsYand Z are aware of the global challenges they face. But by the time they succeed to positions of power, it could be too late to make the changes we need now. What would today’s London be like if reshaped by the generation that will inherit the city in decades to come? We asked fourth-year students at the London School of Architecture to share their proposals for transforming the lives of Londoners in the borough of Hackney. Within eight design think tanks, students and practices collaborated to reimagine everyday activities, from waste and wilderness to playfulness and pleasure.
Migration is one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century. We live in a world in which 232 million people are international migrants, with Europe as the largest migrant region of over 72 million. Cities are, and always have been, fundamentally places of opportunity and hope for a better future. Yet government immigration policies have created a hostile environment, making it increasingly difficult for new arrivals to gain a foothold in the city. The challenge is to develop a welcoming, supportive environment that allows the city to benefit from the richness and diversity of its immigrant population and allows arrivals to play a part in the city’s political, economic and social life.
Circadian Commons is a new metropolitan building type, a reimagining of the area around St John’s Church and Gardens in Hackney into a contemporary pleasure gardens offering opportunities for education, work and leisure 24 hours a day.
The arrival is marked by a new wall constructed of bricks from the bus station that currently occupies the site, the assumption being that, as we move towards a 24/7 economy, bus journeys will be more evenly distributed around the clock, reducing the demand for bus storage.
The proposal consists of six key components: a lido and observatory offering opportunities for night-time swimming and star-gazing; a new, more efficient 21st-century bus depot; skill-sharing workshops; pleasure gardens; routes for night walking; and Purpose and Pleasure pavilions, flexible structures that can be used for work or relaxation by day or by night.
Arrival City could be applied to different sites across the city. While each locality would demand a bespoke response, the brief could be defined by a six-step approach:
1. Understand the audience and their practical and psychological needs
2. Analyse the existing support network for migrants, newcomers
and local residents
3. Identify missing links and establish the appropriate networks and people to help to define a suitable programme
4. Identify places that can accommodate the programme
and offer potential to reanimate the public realm
5. Map existing support networks, spaces and organisations to understand the spatial configurations and requirements for a diverse and inclusive cityscape
6. Design the blanket not the picnic